Flying to the US several times always included 4 hours of getting a internet connection.
I am there’s t-mobile USA and I am a t-mobile Germany customer. But of course this doesn’t change anything. Their special offer is 10MB traffic for “only” 14,95 €. No thanks! And, btw, t-mobile has a pretty bad network coverage in the US.
Instead I tried AT&T Go, a prepaid card. Well, it works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. Don’t ask me why. It cost me several hours to not figuring out what the problem was. My guess is that it’s about registering my device with its IMEI nr. What an unnecessary step.
Use a MiFi.
I want to be reachable with my German phone number so I don’t want to change sim cards. Instead I usually carry an additional MiFi, a small device with a sim and battery opening up a WiFi. Just for me :)
A significant advantage of a MiFi is that it not only works for my phone but the WiFi can also help me to use my laptop, iPad, Kindle, … you name it.
Ok, it’s another device to carry but this comes with another battery, as well. So my phone suffers less as the WiFi module usually eats less than the 3G module.
No LTE, No 3G connection with US carriers
Once you have overcome all barriers and have your device connected to the internet you might be pretty disappointed about the connection speed. This is because 3G and LTE frequencies for the US and Europe are different.
For me the solution was to get a US MiFi from Verizon. I am sure other providers will work as well.
However, the Verizon web interface doesn’t accept my German credit card. So whenever I come to the US I walk into a Verizon shop or Radioshag and get a refill code because they do can charge my German credit card in the store. Silly but that’s how it is.
Remember that charging money to your Verizon account is one thing. You still have to sign in and use this money to purchase a prepaid internet plan. Last time 3 GB was $60, 10 GB $90. Fair enough.
Both coverage and connection speed are fair.
So this plan works for me.
Maybe it can safe you time, too.